First Sunday after Epiphany
January 10, 2021
Pastor: Ralph Wrightstone Bulletin . Insert . Photos Music Director: Travis Oaks
With Epiphany now in the past: the Three Kings are returning to their countries "by another way", the gifts and decorations of Christmas are stored away, and the Christmas Season has come to an end...where does that leave us now? There are still some "birth stories" remaining. Mary is still to present herself and her baby in the temple 40 days after his birth but that's still a month away (on February 2)...and following that comes Herod's decreed "massacre of the infants" and Jesus' family's flight to Egypt and subsequent return to Nazareth. But the next major "cycle of seasons" in the Liturgical Year, the Lent/Easter/Pentecost cycle, doesn't begin until Ash Wednesday. For some, the period between Epiphany and the presentation in the Temple (also called Candlemas) is the Season of Epiphany or the "Christmas-Epiphany Season". For others the time between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday is just another "Ordinary Time" when the weeks are counted off by the Ordinal Numbers...First, Second, Third, etc. Using "Ordinary Time" for this "Season after Epiphany", today is the "First Sunday after Epiphany". Topics for Ordinary Time can be varied but traditionally begin with the Baptism of Jesus, early in Jesus' ministry when God openly affirms the path Jesus is undertaking. Of course, the story is just the beginning...it takes Scripture, the Pastor, the Spirit and open hearts to produce a Message.
Click on the "Bethel United Methodist Church" script above
for links to some Resource material for this service.
We are also having a service at 11:00 this morning in Bethel's sanctuary. An insert to the bulletin, provided by a link above, presents Bethel UMC's policy regarding these gatherings during the time of COVID-19 restrictions.
For those unable to attend the services at the church, a new service will be available here online before 10:00 am each Sunday morning, using the same format as the on-site service. So you may "gather" here for an "Early Service" at 10:00 or the traditional service at 11:00...actually it will be available here at any time all week. We hope that you will find it a refreshing place to come into God's house.
NOTE: Each part of this online service consists of an audio file and, for most, a Link to a pdf file of "projection slides". Click on the symbol to play the audio file under a separate browser tab or in a new window. Then select the "Bethel 01/10/21 Service" browser tab or return to this window to open the Link to the "slides". It is best to stop the playing of one Audio segment and close its tab or window before starting another. We hope that you will fully participate in the service provided here, taking the time to raise your voice or read along with the hymns and responses, and listening to the recorded messages and songs that have been prepared for you. Realize that, though not meeting face-to-face, you are virtually gathering with many others for this time of worship, celebration and spiritual refreshment.
- . Verse - Prelude/Processional - "Sing Alleluia to the Lord"
During normal times...acolytes would bring light to the candles on the altar, followed by the pastor and other worship leaders...today, it simply provides an opening for this time of Worship.
- . Slides - Welcome and Announcements .
- Opening Hymn
. Verse - "I Love to Tell the Story" . (UMH 156, vs1,3,4)
This hymn relates to the scripture for today's Message:
.Verses - "When Jesus Came to Jordan" . (UMH 252)
The next offering is a video of a holiday presentation by the U.S.Air Force band promoting unity, an apt message for these times. It was referenced in Candace McKibben's article in yesterday's newspaper. Alas,there are so many "One Voice"s clamoring to be heard...God, help us to hear and join with yours...
YouTube - "One Voice" . (06:08)
- . Slides - Call to Worship, Apostle's Creed and Gloria Patria
- - OT Scripture Reading: "Genesis 1:1-5" .
......consider following along with a favored translation of your own.
- Special Music
- "There was Jesus", performed by Travis in last Sunday's church service
- . Slides - Pastor's Thoughts, Prayers and Lord's Prayer . (09:17)
- - "Youth" Message: "The Sign of Noah" . (10:51)
Though addressed to the "Youth", whom we truly miss seeing on Sundays, this message is for all of us. You may wish to follow the reading of Mark 1:4-22 in your own Bible. (The "Church" message on this same topic will be on the "Sermons" page of Bethel's web site later this week.)
- Closing Hymn:
. Verse - "There's a Sweet Sweet Spirit in this Place" . (UMH 334)
- Closing Chorus & Benediction:
. Verse - "Bind Us Together"
Thank you for coming. Our prayer will be that we will soon all gather again for worship in Bethel's Sanctuary, but until then we'll be here for you on Sunday morning.
Please let us know of any problems you have with or suggestions about this site by sending an email to "email@example.com". If you have any announcements or prayer concerns you would like included next week you may contact Pastor Ralph Wrightstone directly at: 850-591-9785